tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 28, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
breathing a sigh of relief that the worst fears didn't become a reality in rhode island. cnn, providence, rhode island. >> a quaint, new england street turned into a torrent north of new york city. this is the legacy of what was tropical storm irene, once hurricane arna across the northeast u.s. cars are no match for these waters. this car was battered like driftwood. fortunately no one was inside. >> whoa. get out of here! grab the mic. >> a reporter with wcbs was covering irene in new jersey
when a large wave nearly swept her off her feet. she and her crew thought they were far enough away from the water but they were wrong. on long island, large sand berms were piled up to protect the life guard station and it worked, for a while. the waves smashed the building into the pier. good evening. i'm martin savidge. don is off tonight. irene made landfall again this morning in new york city as a category one hurricane. from there it made a nonstop march north as a tropical storm sweeping through new england with high winds and heavy rain. what's left is now crossing into canada. at least 19 people lost their lives from florida to new england. power is out to about 4 million homes and businesses. it could be days before the lights are back on. along the east coast many are thankful irene didn't live up to
expectations. in vermont it appears the opposite is happening. people were caught off guard by the onslaught of flooding. the state ordered no early mandatory evacuations. many small towns are submerged. rescue teams are scrambling and it looks like the worst may have happened with the report of a woman missing. a lot of action is now happening in brattleboro, vermont. that's where cnn's gary tuchman is. >> reporter: marty, for generations up until yesterday children would swim here. this is the wetstone brook. it was totally placid, a thin creek where children have played for much of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. this is no longer the wet stone brook. this is the wet stone rapids. the power of irene in vermont has turned brooks and creeks into rapids. looks like what you would see at
the grand canyon, at niagara falls. this is an office building with art studios and the power of the water exploded the brook three times what it was before. the building is now about to fall into this brook. we talked to one of the owners inside the building, an artist with an office on the top floor, third window from the right. he wanted to recover his belongings. we advised him that would not be a good idea and five minutes ago we heard a boom. part of the building appears to have collapsed. now in vermont, officials are trying to find out how many people might be missing. we do know one woman is missing and presumed dead when she apparently fell into a brook like this. high tide is expected in northern vermont about three hours from now in montpelier.
there is concern of flooding in the capitol city. last time a hurricane or tropical storm storm affected the area was 73 years ago. they are not used to it. you can see the raging rapids. vermont didn't expect to be affected like this by irene. back to you. >> any idea how long they will be under the gun so to speak from the water? >> reporter: say that one more time? >> how long do you think it is that the state will continue to be threatened by the high water? >> reporter: oh, that's a very good question. no one is able to answer it becausthis has never happened in this particular area in brattleboro in southern vermont. we have talked to old timers who lived here a long time. they have never seen it and they don't know how long it will last. we do know earlier in the day
this was covered with water. the water has receded. you still have raging rapids there and this isn't the only building that's near this brook. there are other buildings here, too. a lot of neighbors are scared for their houses to be affected by the immense power of water raging down this brook. >> gary, thank you very much. let's get the latest on what used to be irene now. >> tropical storm irene, the last advisory has been written on. the elongated center has lost the characteristic. that's the end. it's moot because we are seeing 50 miles per hour wind gusts in albany. you can see it's now zipping to the north-northeast at 26 miles per hour. it's moving but once again it is no longer tropical storm irene. it has lost its tropical karkh tris tickets and will get out of
the picture quickly. what's next is flooding. you just heard gary talking and really i think the calling card of what was irene will be flooding. there is flash flooding and river flooding. we have warnings for both. flash flooding is heavy rain, a short period of time. it's short-lived. you can see all the greens are river flooding. longer to develop and also a longer duration to recede. that's the scenario there so it seems river and flash flooding will be the calling card with this. we'll see sunshine. so great news for vermont and so many people here. again, all the travel getting back on track in the northeast. sunny skies from the ohio valley to the midatlantic to the southeast. again also what was tropical storm irene is dancing with the surface cold front. you can see it.
losing its tropical characteristics. in the southeast, sunny and warm. west coast, sunny as well. finally a bright sunny day tomorrow as we say good-bye to tropical storm irene. but the problems remain and will for weeks. i mean, record power out tanls in places that had never seen such numbers. it will be quite some time. >> we'll talk to you again with the travel forecast. thank you. new jersey caught some of the worth of it from irene. the storm has moved on but intense flooding is a concern, not just along the coast but inland as well. poppy harlow is in millburn, new jersey, tonight. what's it look like? >> reporter: we are on the main street in millburn. all the residents and business owners were here because it looks like every one of the businesses on main street got flooded. some got flooded badly. maybe you can hear the bell going off.
it was obviously set off by irene and won't stop. what happened here is there is a river that runs right through this town. it crested and just flew right on over and washed right into businesses and they are used to this. they were flooded badly in 1999. chris christie said a lot of the rivers are either at record levels or near record levels. there was a lot of rain here for the last two weeks so the ground was soaked with water already. this pushd it over the edge. take a look at this local restaurant here. look inside. it was devastated by irene and all the flooding. we got a chance to go inside with dana the owner this evening for a real sense of just the damage that's been done by irene. listen to what he told us. we're going to see the basement.
the floor is full of mud. you have sewage, grass and leaves. this can be cleaned up but it will take a month. often times flood insurance doesn't cover basements. wait until you see this. look down here. how many feet down does that go? >> well, that's about ten, 11 feet. it's right up to the ceiling. the office, the walk-in, the food is gone. >> reporter: i wish i could say this was the only restaurant or business that happened to. he's not alone in this. the bagel shop in there, the basement is full. 10, 11, 12 feet of water. same story down the road here, not just in these businesses. it's in a lot of homes here in new jersey. they are dealing with it.
you know, the firemen go to pump out homes before businesses. the other big problem is the power out. the businesses have power. the homes don't. residents are telling me. i couldn't believe it. they were told by the power provider they won't likely get power until next sunday or monday. that's a long time to go without hot water or electricity. irene certainly left her mark for a long time. >> thank you, poppy, from millburn, nng. in pennsylvania officials are blaming irene for the deaths of at least four people. now that the winds and rains have passed the waters are rising. residents describe shoulder high water in philadelphia where the mayor lifted the state of emergency around noon.
50 miles to the northwest in the lehigh valley an ireporter came across a lake at the intersection of center valley parkway and route 309. then even further north in the poconos, another video of a stream that drastically broke its banks. heavy rains had already saturated the ground. that was true in much of the northeast increasing the flooding. up next, a tour of the storm damage in north carolina's outer banks where about 2500 people tonight are cut off from the mainland. later, a disturbing story from libya that reveals cruelties by moammar gadhafi's family. that's a cnn exclusive. ♪
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stay two weekend nights and get a $75 prepaid card. and that is margaretville, new york in the catskills. irene is the culprit. as the storm rumbles through new england and into canada people are trying to clean up the mess left behind. chris lawrence reports from chesapeake beach, maryland. >> reporter: it's amazing what a difference a day makes. saturday night into sunday
morning we were getting knocked around by fierce winds. we watched the water raise, watched the waves crash against the shore. it was a real worry about intense flooding here. a lot of the homes here are built up on a cliff. there was a worry if so much water rushed in it could really cause damage to homes. overall people here fared better than they initially thought. there was a death in maryland where the wind collapsed a chimney onto a woman's home and killed her. we spoke with several people who had close calls. one man was in his home and a tree fell on top. the power had gone out a couple hours before. he was so bored that he went down stairs to do a puzzle and that took him out of the line of the tree falling on his house. >> they say things come in
threes. we had the earthquake, this and god knows what else. hopefully nothing else will happen. god, just helped me that i wasn't in that room. i would have been killed. >> reporter: close calls but people are dealing with downed trees, power lines. trying to get those cleared out. 800,000 people were without power so getting it restored will be priority one for crews here. chris lawrence, cnn, chesapeake beach, maryland. >> in north carolina's outer banks, irene washed out the main highway in hatteras island cutting off some 2,500 people from the mainland. brian todd did an aerial tour and joins frus kinston, north carolina tonight. brian? >> reporter: marty, we did the aerial tour and landed on hatteras island. exclusive access from the
national guard because the only way in is by chopper right now. we went in two helicopters, did the aerial tour and saw the damage firsthand. then landed and surveyed it from the ground. it's compelling to watch. you have highway 12 that you mentioned. this is the key artery connecting hatteras island to the outer banks islands north of it. from the other islands the causeways go to the mainland. when this part of highway 12 was destroyed, that meant 2,500 people on hatteras island were stranded and remain stranded now. 2,500 ignored the mandatory evacuation order. now they are cut off from the world. that section of highway 1 was amazing to look at. we have footage. you see the road there was washed out by storm surge but looked like it was hit by an earthquake as well. the road collapsed. it was chopped to pieces. now the ocean is flowing other it.
there are ocean currents going over it into pamlico sound to the west. you have that to deal with. there are flooded roads on hatteras island. we saw an older house we were told was a nice house that not only was hit by the storm but it caught on fire and burned to the ground. so significant damage on hatteras island and now people there, 2500 of them are isolated at least temporarily until they can get ferry service in we think beginning on monday. >> how long do you think it will take to repair that road? >> reporter: you know, some of the folks there say there have been breaches on the road before. hurricane isabelle came through in 2003 and there were breaches then and previous hurricanes did cause breaches on highway 12, but not this bad. people we talked to said they have never seen flooding this bad and damage this bad on highway 12. there have been breaches but this was devastation.
and it was kev station at a key point where the road connects to other outer banks islands which then connect to the mainland. that was a key section. now people are isolated because of it. it will probably take at least a couple weeks to fix that stretch of road. that's a long time to go without supplies when you have maybe only stocked up for three, four days. they are going to bring in supplies via ferry but that will be slow going. they take a couple hours each to get there. >> quickly, is there a particular reason why that specific site? the storm spared much of north carolina. why did it seem to hit there? >> we noticed it when we were flying. highway 12 is near the ocean and near the sound to the west. between the storm surge from the ocean and the reverse storm surge from the west, from the
sound it was a double whammy. it didn't hit at once but the cumulative effect of both storm surges plus the wind and rain just combined to really just chop away at highway 12. it's in very bad shape, marty. it will be a week, maybe two or longer to get the road repaired and passable again. >> certainly the storm did a number on the road. thank you very much. new yorkers were spared the worst of hurricane irene. next a live report from long island where flooding is a concern. good news for air travelers and the monday commute. many of the airports shut down this weekend will be open but don't expect things to be completely back to normal. nour travel forecast is ahead. that can help lower cholesterol and who ordered the yummy cereal? yummy. that's yours. lower cholesterol. lower cholesterol. i'm yummy. lower cholesterol. i got that wrong didn't i? [ male announcer ] want great taste?
we have breaking news for you. there is a desperate situation in upstate new york. almost two dozen people say they are trapped in a vacation home in prattsville, including pregnant women, children and infants. joining me on the phone is irina novik. what's going on? >> reporter: it's crazy out here with no lights, no water. we're trapped in a house up in the mountains. it's pitch black. there is a high pressure river coming down from the top and going down, blocking all the
bridges. all the bridges are coming to the house when we just came to the house. there is no way in or out. no one can help us. we are stuck here and we have a lot of children and two pregnant women, three infants, toddlers, teenagers and practically nothing that could keep us going. we cannot use bathrooms, eat, drink, nothing. it's pitch black. we cannot have water because water comes from the well which works on electric power. >> let me slow you down. you are cut off, surrounded by water? explain why you can't -- >> there is a river next to the house. it's more of up state new york
like a mother nature beautiful, trees, rivers, bridges. everything went the other way. we reside in brooklyn around the water so we thought we were safe being here but it's a worse situation. now the only problem we have right now which the bridges to get to the house from new york to here, all four bridges are collapsed. >> so the bridges you would drive to get away from where you are, you are all trapped in this home. what do you need? what can be done to get to you? >> we need -- we called for help. the sheriff's department just called a few minutes before i spoke to you.
they said we are trying to do the best we can to get to you. there are people on the way and the bridges are collapsed. they can't get to us because it's so far away from us since everything is damaged. lots of damage to all the streets and bridges. >> i know you would be frightened. how is everyone else in the home coping? >> the kids are panicking. the worst thing is the kids cannot use the bathroom because there is no water. so everybody is kind of frightened and it's a big house. pitch black.
everybody is panicking. they said we'll do as much as we can to help you, but give us some time. hopefully it will be as soon as possible. >> we hope so, too. hang with us, please. do us a favor and give us an idea of the conditions she's facing in that area. >> very scary. she's in up state new york. i'm from albany. it's just southwest of albany. where she is south of the sculhari reservoir. she's just south, kind of south of this reservoir draining all this water. the problem is we are talking about -- remember i was talking about flash flooding versus river flooding. we are seeing this incredible amount of water, but in upstate new york the topography, the orographic lifting is increasing all the rain and the downpours from tropical storm irene. it's an inordinate amount of
water in a short time and it's all channelling south from the reservoir. this is what i'm getting from her by just listening. again it's in green county southwest of albany new york. seeing an inordinate amount of flooding and 50 miles per hour wind gusts with this. it's scary. she's between new york city and north of that is albany, new york, a two and a half hour drive. it's the catskill mountains. a lot of mountains enhancing the amount of rain already coming down. good luck to her. >> we are trying to get authorities on the telephone to speak to them and see how to resolve the situation for you in the home. are you all in one room or how are you situated to keep track and take care of one another? >> we're trying one fireplace because there is no heat, no nothing. all the families are in one room
next to the fireplace. that deeps us warm, all the kids and infants and toddlers. that's the worst thing. everybody is in one room. not much space in this room. >> you ended up in this home how? why didn't you evacuate with the c on coming storm. >> nobody predicted it to be here. everybody was concerned about new york city, brooklyn, but nobody mentioned anything about catskill mountains. it's not like we came on a weekend. we were already there from last monday. it was unpredictable basically. >> do you have flashlights? food? do you have the -- do you have water? >> there is only cell phones that have very little charge. we cannot charge them so we used the flashlights from the cell
phones. but because of that it's very hard. hopefully the fire department, they didn't forget about us. hopefully they will reach us tomorrow morning. that's our best way to get out of here. it's really -- it really will be -- somehow we need to get out of here. >> of course. we won't forget about you. >> thank you so much. >> we are reaching out to, i believe it's green county authorities so we can understand what's being done and there are many people who may be in need. >> right. >> and may be in need of rescue as you are. it may be understandable. hopefully daylight will make it a much more practical situation
for everyone involved. trying to launch a rescue would be extremely difficult for you and first responders. are you all right? >> yeah. the only concern is the infants because we've got food supplies for infants for a week and we don't have access to stores. so we only have one more day of supplies and no water basically. that's the danger part. the infants are in a dangerous position. >> are you on a ground floor or in an upstairs room? >> say it again. >> are you on the ground floor or in an upstairs room? >> in the upstairs. >> okay. you mentioned, i believe, a river or water near you. >> right next to the house. the basement is flooded. a couple of families slept in the basement. they came up because the basement is totally flooded. >> irene, i'm going to interrupt you now.
we have spoken to authorities and they want to talk to you. we want to get off the line with you so we can clear the line and get it open for them to speak to you. we want to know what happens. when there is a chance get back in touch. >> we will. thank you so much. >> good luck to you and even in the house. thank you. hurricane irene meanwhile won't quit. now the remnants of the tropical storm are moving from the u.s. into canada. but all day long the drenching rains flooded areas across the northeast. the danger is far from over. at least 19 deaths blamed on the storm in eight states. more than 4 million homes and businesses are without power as we speak. it could take days to get electricity flowing to everyone. damage cost will likely be in the billions. president obama is warning many americans aren't out of harm's way yet. he's promising swift federal assistance to victims from the storm. irene turned out to be more of an inconvenience for major
cities like new york. airports will re-open monday morning. new york city will also restore subway service starting at 6:00 a.m. eastern time. irene may not have hit new york city as badly as many feared but long island caught the brunt of the storm as it passed through. susan candiotti is standing by. we understand you are there in the dark though we see what's a generator light behind you. >> reporter: that's right. hard to hear because of that. what a difference 24 hours makes. last night about this hour we were being bufted by the outer bands of hurricane irene. now that storm is no longer even a tropical storm. however, the remnants are being felt, as you said. no major reports of flooding on long island. certainly there is enough work here that has some people
working even at this late hour. one of the interesting questions we have as you indicated is the subways will be back in business. the long island railroad that happens here will be carrying people or will they? this is a bedroom community for new york and a hub for tourists. you have to wonder how much money the city has lost because of the storm. what kind of economic impact will there be because of the preparations? i put the question to governor cuomo who came to visit this afternoon. >> don't under estimate the damage here. it was prudent that we did what we did and it would have been worse. >> reporter: power outages are a problem here.
more than 400,000 customers are still in the dark. about a million customers throughout the state. so as you indicated, marty, everything isn't completely back to normal yet. back to you. >> susan candiotti, thanks for your hard work. good luck to everyone there. it could be days before major cities like philadelphia, chicago and new york are back on normal schedules. now a look at monday's commute.
we are staying on top of irene's aftermath and following events from libya. nic robertson found one of the most notorious libyans today in tripoli. al megrahi was convicted of the 1988 lockerbie bombing of pan am flight 103. scotland released him two years ago on compassionate ground claiming at that time he had only months to live. when nic found him he was barely conscious and appeared to be on death's door. last hour i asked bert ammerman who lost a brother in the bombing knowing how he felt knowing megrahi was close to death. >> i'm happy that megrahi, as far as i'm concerned can't die soon enough. whether he dies in libya or comes back to the united states or scotland, at this point is irrelevant. >> the fact that the ntc says they will not extradite him, does that bother now?
>> no. this all changed, martin, a couple of weeks ago. as i have been saying over and over when people asked me, the big fish is gadhafi and his sons. as long as gadhafi and his sons are eliminated or arrested we could try gadhafi for the bombing of pan am 103 p. we have to stay focused and have gadhafi and his sons eliminated. if we do, my brother and the other 269 people didn't die in vain. >> the downfall of moammar gadhafi revealed his family's excesses and cruelties. his son hannibal led the life of a flamboyant playboy. cnn's dan river learned about hannibal's sadistic wife when he met a woman who worked for her. dan? >> reporter: we went looking for insight into how the gadhafi sons lived. we found their holiday beachside
complex basically of villas and amongst all this decadence we stumbled into this story of unspeakable suffering. i'm afraid some viewers may find this report disturbing. this is the inner sang item of the gadhafi family. much evidence here of a decadent lifestyle. now a rebel commander plays where gadhafi's sons used to party. this compound of opulent beachside villas is dripping with every luxury imaginable. it's been ransacked but still looks like a villain's hideout in a bond movie. in one rebels are sharing hundreds of bottles of fine champagne. each bottle worth hundreds of dollars. but amid all the decadence there were acts of unspeakable cruelty. this house belongs to hannibal gadhafi. what went on here was truly
horrendous. meet a 30-year-old ethiopian nanny who describes how she was horribly tortured by hannibal's wife. >> translator: she took me to a bathroom, tied my hands behind my back and tied my feet. she taped my mouth. she started pouring the boiling water on my head like this. >> reporter: her crime? she says she refused to beat hannibal's toddler who wouldn't stop crying. she said she was scalded twice. the most recent episode was three months ago. her wounds are still raw and weeping. she appears to be in desperate need of medical attention. >> there were maggots coming out of my head because she had hidden me and no one had seen
me. then they found me and put me in the hospital. >> reporter: then she was discovered and brought back. the guards who helped her were threatened with prison if he took her to hospital again. co-workers backed up her account. >> translator: i worked for a whole year. they didn't give me one penny. now i want to go to the hospital and i have no money. i have nothing. she said no money for you. you just work. >> reporter: is this the true face of colonel gadhafi's regime amid fantastic wealth sadistic brutality meted out even to those trusted to look after the dictator's grandchildren. >> reporter: we are hoping to go and see her again today and hoping we can do something to help her get treatment for those terrible burns that you saw
there. i don't think any of us were prepared for what we saw when we walked in the room and saw her lying there on her own. i don't know, marty. perhaps some viewersn the u.s., maybe some ngo specializes in burns and can help us help her, if you like. we are hoping we can get her specialist help. it's clear she needs fairly urgent medical attention to avoid those terrible burns scarring more than they have already. >> yeah, dan. i'm stunned. that's horrific to see what a human would do to another person. i imagine that first you would have to get her out of the country, right? no way she'll get proper treatment there. >> reporter: i think it's clear having visited hospitals here. they are totally overwhelmed with people who were shot. there are bodies stacked up here. it's not a good place to be,
especially with open wounds she has. i think it's clear she needs to get out of libya and bet into europe for the u.s. and get specialist burn care. i'm not a doctor. perhaps if she could get skin grafts they could do a lot of good and really help her recover. >> thank you for bringing it to our attention. hopefully we can make it happen. when we come back, we will show you the power of hurricane irene and the damage it did to north carolina's outer banks. but first, this program note for you. coming up at the top of the hour, he had the most powerful job in the country, but his toughest job was saving his own life. dr. sanjay gupta and former president bill clinton explore the signs, tests and lifestyle changes that could result in the last heart attack. the special cnn presents coming up. t's time for a better snack. here, try this. it's yoplait greek.
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it could be days before major cities like washington, philadelphia and new york are running on their normal transit schedules. here's a look at monday which is now just hours away. >> unprecedented travel disruptions. really unheard of. so every city, washington, philadelphia, all up and running. the caveat, new york city not yet up and running at all major airports but it will be tomorrow. laguardia, arrivals and delays
commence. departures. if you are flying out of jfk or newark, arrivals begin at 6:00. but if you are leaving and tomorrow is your departure day you depart beginning at noon. in terms of amtrak, really struggling the most of any mass transit to get its legs back. what they have on the rails, flooding on the rails and power outages and debris on the train tracks. philadelphia is the deciding factor between philadelphia and boston there is no amtrak tomorrow at all. still suspended south of that through baltimore, that's up and active. that's on track at this point. that's a quick look at travel. more about flooding and a look at the hudson valley coming up. >> good luck to people moving on a monday. thank you. this destructive weather weekend got started on the outer banks in north carolina. that state felt the strongest punch of hurricane irene and
they have a big cleanup ahead. our cnn david mattingly has been there since before the storm hit. >> reporter: a stunning view of the power of hurricane irene. north carolina's highway 12 chopped into pieces on hatteras island. the evidence mated 2500 residents who stayed behind now stranded with no way to drive out. >> we are probably 24 hours away from being able to get there other than by helicopter. >> reporter: hit first, north carolina felt irene's strongest punch bringing what's described as epic flooding to water front communities. houses and roads that weathered storms in the past were swamped like never before. hurricane isabelle in 2003 was an incredibly destructive storm when it hit here the winds were such that it actually blew this water in the sound away from here. the water level was much lower. but this time when irene hit, the exact opposite happened.
entire neighborhoods were inundated in hours. one resident caught the flood on camera with winds whipping the water on shore. just hours later, the waters receded, leaving a mess behind and weeks of cleaning up. >> part of living in paradise, you know? >> reporter: people of virginia now cleaning up as well. 1.2 million were without power from a full day of damaging winds and up to ten inches of rain. governor bob mcdonald is asking for patience. >> it's going to be a matter of days or perhaps longer before power is fully restored. >> reporter: it's the second worst power outage in virginia history. two states that will remember irene as a hurricane for the record books. david mattingly, cnn, kill devil hills, north carolina. >> we are following breaking news from upstate new york. nearly two dozen people, many of them children, trapped in a house by near record
breaking news from up state new york. seven families unable to leave a home in the catskill mountains. the flood waters from irene wiped out four bridges surrounding the home. among those stranded are two expectant mothers and ten children. officials say they are aware of the situation and they are working toward reaching those families, but crews are overwhelmed. the teams have rescued 87 people so far today in prattsville. alexandra has more on how high the water is. >> they are in the catskill mountains. it's a village of 600 people. here is the creek right where they are. to give you perspective, here is flood stage. you can see at 12 feet. major flood stage is 16 feet. where is prattvville tonight with water in the basement? 18.5 feet.
18 and a half feet, almost record stage for this area. it is just about one more feet. 19.6 feet. incredibly scary. this is the water. now sculhary creek at prattsville. . 18.47. flood stage is 12 feet. last october the same thing happened and people there were cut off for six hours while water inundated their homes. again in the cat zs kill mountains, 50 miles southwest of albany in green county. a very scary scenario tonight. no question about it. marty? >> definitely. you look at the power of the water, alex. thank you very much. stay with cnn with the latest on this story and all other news pertaining to what was the storm hurricane irene, now no longer a storm at all. i'm martin savidge at the cnn world head quarters. thanks for joining us. thank you for joining us.